The First Judicial District Court and the Carson City Justice/Municipal Courts recently conducted a court customer survey to determine if court customers believed they were provided access and fairness to the justice system and to identify areas for improvement.
The courts utilized a model survey from the National Center for State Courts, a non-profit organization designed to assist courts in implementing improvements that enhance efficiency and maximize resources.
The survey was conducted on Sept. 8 when all courtrooms were in session. Judges and court staff were not advised of the day the survey was taking place. Two employees sat outside the courthouse entrance and asked court customers to complete the 21-question survey.
Survey results showed that 82.6 percent of the court customers said they were treated fairly and 68.5 percent felt that they had access to justice.
In an effort to improve these numbers, the courts are in the process of developing a Resource Brochure that includes information on free to low-cost legal services and assistance, to be distributed by the court clerk's offices. Additionally, the courts have created numerous forms and instructions to assist court customers with obtaining information on filing court actions such as divorce, guardianship, small claims, and other court documents.
Forms can be downloaded from the Carson City Web site at www.carson-city.nv.us or obtained for free at the court clerk's offices.
Have you been summonsed for jury service? If so, a short video on what to expect when you are called for jury duty is also accessible through the Web site along with frequently asked questions and other court related information.
The District Court and Justice/Municipal Courts are continuing to work together by utilizing the same court administrator. The judges and administration agree that court pride and providing excellent service is an area that is strongly encouraged.
The District Court judges are James T. Russell and James E. Wilson Jr. Justice and Municipal Court judges are Robey B. Willis and John Tatro.
The courts also are concentrating efforts on collecting outstanding fines, fees and restitution. This includes accepting online payments and a newly installed 24-hour drop box in front of the courthouse. The courts are in negotiations with a collection agency and will begin sending outstanding cases to collections. The contract will be at no cost to Carson City or the courts and will be paid for by defendants.
• Maxine Cortes is administrator for First Judicial District Court and the Carson City Justice/Mun-icipal Courts.